The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Date Syrup Halva- Halawat Dibis. حلاوة الدبس

Halva is a dessert that resembles fudge. We make halva using date syrup , and we  snack on it like candy. Serve it with coffee or as a snack between meals.

½ cup unsalted butter
1 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup water
1 cup date syrup
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped pistachios
Melt the butter in a pan and add flour and salt. Sauté for 8 minutes until flour turns golden brown. Add cinnamon, cardamom and stir. Remove from heat.
In a separate pan bring the water to a boil and add the date syrup and sugar. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir vigorously on low heat until the mixture turns smooth and silky.
Pour the mixture onto a plate to a thickness of one inch and decorate with walnuts and pistachios. You can make individual pieces of halva. Take a small piece of the halva and roll it in your hand, and roll it in a bowl of chopped pistachios or walnuts. Store it in a tight container in the refrigerator. Note: If you do not have date syrup, you can use honey or maple syrup, but the flavor will not be the same.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Date Syrup or Date Molasses (Dibis Iraqi,Silan)

Iraq is a major producer of dates. Date syrup is canned and exported to all over the World. It is very nutritious natural sweetener. Iraqis use it in their cooking and baking. We usually purchase it in a jar from  Middle Eastern grocery stores.  You can make your own syrup too.
Iraqis pour the syrup in a bowl and drizzle tahini over it and they call it (Rashi wa Dibis). They stir it and spread it on bread like peanut butter and jelly. It is served for breakfast and as a snack during the day or with tea.
We drizzle date syrup over the cream ( qeemar) and eat it for breakfast. My mother used to make scrambled eggs and drizzle date syrup over them for breakfast.
Date Syrup with Tahini (Rashi wa Dibis)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sweet Sesame Rings-Kaak bil Simsim كعك بالسمسم

These are delicious cookies that go very well with coffee and tea.  They keep well for a few weeks. You can use any kind of flavoring, such as vanilla or ground cardamom.
Makes 60 cookies
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground anise seeds
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces butter ( 1 stick), at room temperature
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2  cup milk
1 cup sesame seeds
1 egg for eggwash
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the flour in a bowl and add the dry ingredients and stir. Add the butter and oil to the flour and rub it in your hand to combine the oils. Add the milk and egg, and kneed it by hand to make soft dough.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Oil your hands to make it easy to form the dough. Take a piece of dough and roll it on a cutting board to make a rope. Bring the ends of the rope together to make a ring. Place on a baking sheet. Leave 1 inch space between the rings as they expand when baked.
Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds over the cookies. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the cookies and place on a cooling rack. Store in a plastic container for a month.